Urban Outfitters UK has come under fire for promoting a hip flask with an advert saying “Drink like the rebel you are with this F**K My Liver printed hip flask”.
The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint that the retailer was irresponsible because it was encouraging excessive drinking.
Urban Outfitters said it had intended to produce a funny and light-hearted ad to attract the attention of consumers that reflected their ‘street style’ attitude.
The phrases “fuck my liver” and “drink like the rebel you are” were meant to be taken as light-hearted statements, the retailer added, claiming “fuck my liver” could be interpreted in numerous different ways related to unhealthy living and did not necessarily relate to alcohol.
But the ASA disagreed, saying there was a “strong link” to alcohol consumption and that the advert “was a message to actively disregard well-known advice about the negative effects of alcohol on the liver”.
“We therefore considered that in the context of a product for consuming alcohol, the phrase “Drink like the rebel you are” was likely to be seen as a direct encouragement to consume excessive amounts of alcohol, portraying drinking alcohol as a challenge,” the ASA added.
Urban Outfitters must no longer show the advert, or use words or phrases that “were irresponsible, encouraged excessive drinking or portrayed drinking alcohol as a challenge” in future.